Crucial P5 Plus 1TB SSD Review - the 176 Layer Flash Powerhouse

Crucial steps into the Gen4 ring fully equipped to do some major damage. Join us as we examine Crucial's 176Layer Gen4 powerhouse.

@JonCoulterSSD
Published Tue, Aug 24 2021 10:29 PM CDT
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Crucial (CT1000P5PSSD8)

Introduction & Drive Details

Crucial is back with another iteration of its P5 NVMe SSD. Unlike its first attempt at a high-performance NVMe SSD with the P5, the Crucial P5 Plus is coming to battle armed to the teeth with its parent companies 176Layer flash and a powerful inhouse Gen4 x4 controller. The original P5 was a good first step at producing a 100% in-house NVMe SSD, but in terms of performance, it couldn't compete with much other than value segment SSDs.

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This is a new day, and today, Crucial is taking no prisoners. First off, as evidenced by the above benchmark, run on our AMD system, the 1TB P5 Plus we have on the bench today can exceed stated sequential read specs by more than 250 MB/s. That's better than the 980 Pro can do. Not bad for their second attempt at an in-house high-performance NVMe offering. However, as we all know, or should know, the true metal of an SSD is never measured in sequential performance. It's workload and gaming performance that actually matter.

As it stands right now, 176Layer Micron flash appears to offer the best mix of gaming and workload performance available. For those of you that may not know, Crucial is the retail arm of Micron. This means Crucial gets cream of the crop 176Layer flash and can sell it through retail channels for less than anyone if they choose to do so. Well, they are choosing to do just that. The 1TB P5 Plus is going for about $80 less than its competitor's 1TB 176Layer offerings. Now the P5 Plus doesn't deliver the same level of sequential throughput as Seagate's FireCuda 530, but again that's not how true performance, or as we call it, user experience, is measured.

Let's get into the details and see what the Crucial P5 Plus can do for you.

Drive Details

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The P5 Plus looks identical to the original P5. It's physically similar as well in that it's a preferred single-sided design featuring two flash packages, a single DRAM package, and a proprietary NVMe controller.

Jon's Test System Specifications

Synthetic Benchmarks: CDM, Anvil, ATTO

CrystalDiskMark

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CDM results land the P5 Plus about in the middle of the pack, right between the WD Black and the 980 Pro. Keep in mind that the WD Black is our current performance champion which tells you that sequential performance does not necessarily correlate with performance that matters.

Anvil's Storage Utilities

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We only care about read performance when evaluating Anvil results, which is why we are no longer including or even benching write performance with this benchmark. A very nice result here, especially when we consider what the original P5 can do. Additionally, we take note that the P5 Plus is dishing out a whopping 50K more read IOPS than it's spec'd for. We almost never see that on the read side of the isle.

ATTO

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We would like to see a bit more here, but again if we dissect a bit further, we can see that the P5 Plus does still serve 128K sequential data to the host at a higher rate than Samsung's 980 Pro.

Real-World Testing: Transfers, Gaming, PCM10

Transfer Rates

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Middle of the road performance here, but still in a more than acceptable range. So, you wait 5 seconds longer for a 100GB transfer the ten times in your life you do it. Not a big deal as we see it.

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Here we would definitely like to see a better result.

Game Level Loading

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Gaming is a performance metric that matters to the majority of DIY consumers, especially to the enthusiast crowd that TweakTown caters to. Real-world performance that matters, this is what the P5 Plus is really all about. This is the best result we've seen from ANY 1TB flash-based SSD. Gamers take notice.

PCM10 Storage Tests

PCMark 10 Storage Test is the most advanced and most accurate real-world consumer storage test ever made. There are four different tests you can choose from; we run two of them.

The Full System Drive Benchmark and the Quick System Drive Benchmark. The Full System Drive Benchmark writes 204 GB of data over the duration of the test. The Quick System Drive Benchmark writes 23 GB of data over the duration of the test. These tests directly correlate with mainstream user experience.

PCMark 10 Full System Drive Benchmark

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This particular test writes over 204GB data and covers a broad range of common consumer tasks, including booting Windows 10, file transfers, Adobe and Office applications, and startup times for games including Battlefield V, COD Black Ops 4, and Overwatch. Unlike synthetic numbers, this is comprehensive real-world data which is why we use it to rank SSDs in terms of user experience.

Would you look at that? This is where the rubber meets the road, and this is where the P5 Plus is flexing hard, delivering the second-best result for a flash-based SSD, ever. Performance that matters. Elite performance.

PCMark 10 Quick System Drive Benchmark

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Anytime a drive scores higher than 3,500 points on this test, we consider it to be Elite. The P5 Plus repeats by again delivering the second-best flash-based performance we've ever seen. Performance that matters.

Final Thoughts

The P5 Plus might be the best performance-to-price SSD currently available. For gaming, you can't do much better than the P5 Plus. It should certainly be a top-of-the-list consideration for PS5 internal storage expansion. We also love that it is a single-sided SSD. This makes it easy to cool as all heat generation emanates from one side of the PCB. The heat sink side.

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We rank SSDs in terms of overall user experience (performance where it matters most) as expressed by PCMark 10 storage tests. We consider a user experience score of over 7K to verify an SSD as TweakTown Elite. With the second-highest rating we've seen from any flash-based device, the P5 Plus is certified TweakTown Elite, becoming only the eighth flash-based SSD ever to do so.

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The P5 Plus 1TB pretty much traveled in the middle of the pack for most of our testing, and that is fine by us because when it was called on to rise to the occasion where it matters most, the P5 Plus responded in spectacular fashion. Take game level loading, for instance. The P5 Plus delivered by far the best performance we've seen to date from a 1TB SSD. In fact, you could say it went from worst to first if we compare it with its predecessor. On top of that, the Crucial P5 Plus earned its TweakTown Elite stripes and our highest award to go with it.

Pros

  • Value Pricing
  • Gaming
  • User Experience

Cons

  • Transfer Rates
Buy at Amazon

Performance

90%

Quality

90%

Features

100%

Value

100%

Overall

95%

The Bottom Line

TweakTown Elite and value pricing make the P5 Plus hard to beat.

TweakTown award
95%

Crucial P5 Plus 1TB NVMe PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 SSD

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* Prices last scanned on 12/31/1969 at 6:00 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jon joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new storage products. Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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